Presave MERIT’s upcoming single “Montone Flow” here!
Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with MERIT (Berlin, Germany) about their incredibly powerful first single “Everybody Cannot Live”, what got them into music, issues ongoing in society, and so much more! You can read the interview below!
1. Before we begin, Mustard would like to thank you for joining them! How are you doing?
Hi Mustard! Thank YOU. I am very grateful for you reaching out. I am doing very well – although I’m a little nervous thinking of my next release (my next song Monotone Flow will be out May 20!) and everything that’s about to come. Being an independent artist is an exciting journey. It makes me happy, but it’s a roller-coaster at the same time.
2. Mustard wonders what first got you into music.
I got into music at an early age. My mother wanted to become an opera singer and taught me and my siblings to play the piano when we were young. Listening to classical music was a big part of my childhood. My high school had a musical focus too, so everybody had to play an instrument. In the breaks, we used to sing together, using the tables as drums, clapping & playing instruments – kinda like a low level high school musical spin-off. I also attended the choir from elementary school up until my time in university. But solo singing is something I got into very late, I started with singing lessons a few years ago.
3. Your debut single, “Everybody Cannot Live”, asks the question “When will it be us? When is it our turn to lose our homes and see our streets burn?” Could you elaborate more on your first single? What do you think can be done to avoid this? What solutions can be put in place to prevent this from happening?
My single “Everybody Cannot Live“ is a very special song to me – the first song that I’ve put out and one that wasn’t planned at all. I wrote, composed and recorded it within three days. That´s what makes it so pure and emotional. The song deals with fear, destruction, injustice, darkness, chaos and crossed borders.
I had actually planned on releasing “Monotone Flow“, a project me and many friends had been working on for more than a year. We filmed a music video in February 2021 that got finished in post-production in 2022 – you can imagine how happy we were to finally be able to put it out. But that was when the situation in Europe started to drastically change over night. The war threw the people over here off track and made us hold our breath. That’s why I delayed my release and instead started to write down my feelings and questions to deal with the current situation. These questions are, amongst others, “When will it be us? When is it our turn to lose our homes and to see out streets burn?“.
I ask myself, how a person’s life is dependent on the part of the world they are born in or live in. How do some people live a peaceful life, when others are dying right next to them? And is it just a matter of time until everybody will be affected?
In regards to solutions – that’s a very good question. If I had an answer, I’d shout it out to the world. I’d write a song with answers instead of questions. Let’s hope that day will come.
4. Additionally “Everybody Cannot Live” touches upon families being separated and racism with the line “If their skin is not white nobody unites.” Mustard wonders what humans can do to help change this mindset so that everyone does care.
I think it is crucial to continuously educate oneself, to be open-minded, and to regularly reflect one’s thoughts and actions. If we all listened to minorities and took their problems seriously, that would actually be a big first step to change the world for the better. But taking action is essential long-term. Don´t look away when observing injustice and stand up for your fellows. Everybody can contribute something. I think, us artist´s purpose is to contribute our creative work to the world – to give people a voice, to share emotions and opinions through art. I think art has the power to unite people all over the world.
In this context, I’d like to mention that the profits from “Everybody Cannot Live“ are being donated to refugee aid organizations. So feel free to share and stream the song. I would really appreciate that, so I can not only make a creative, but also monetary contribution.
5. What is your creative process?
Well, I could show you thousands and thousands of notes and voice memos on my phone – I document any idea that comes to my mind at any point. It might be an interesting word, an inspiring quote, an excerpt from a poem or thoughts of mine; sometimes I hear an interesting noise or a melody pops up in my head; another time I might listen to a song that has a great rhythm or uses an interesting instrument. Whatever it is – I write it down or record it immediately and name it “song idea“. If every song idea would actually turn into a song I could probably publish 137 albums by now. But I only focus on the ideas that appeal to me the most. So basically, the creative process always either starts with a melody idea, a lyrics idea or a music production idea. From those points, I start to work out further song elements step by step. Usually, I sit down at the piano and start to find harmonies and sing gibberish. If I am lucky, those elements start to melt into a concept and I am able to put all those pieces together to a complete song. The last step is the hardest – the music production. I’ve never learned to produce professionally. My biggest goal is to be able to produce my music completely by myself one day. That would make me completely independent and I wouldn’t have to rely on other people to understand my vision. …Plan B is finding my own FINNEAS, like Billie Eilish has hers. That would be fine too. (I’m open for applications!)
6. According to a recent blog post, you recently quit your job to focus on becoming a full-time musician. What advice would you give to those who may want to do something similar but may be afraid too?
I am so happy that you’re mentioning my blog! So far, 2 people have seen it, so I consider everybody who finds it a super-fan! I started to write monthly summaries on my journey as an independent artist two months ago. I thought it might be fun to look back one day and see how everything developed. So if you wanna follow my journey, just look at my website or subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll always get the hottest updates!
And yes, I indeed did quit my job to focus on becoming a full-time musician. And I gotta tell you: I don´t have much advice yet. I have absolutely no idea how things will work out. One thing I can say for sure: things always work out differently than planned. Maybe just try to think of the worst case scenario and have a solution for that. But know that there are always ways to overcome obstacles. Try to get as much support as you can, from friends and family or even on social media. Approach your journey step by step. Find role models and other inspiring artists, try to get in contact with them. Take your time. Believe in yourself.
7. May 20th is a special day for you. What is happening on that day?
As already mentioned, my song Monotone Flow and the music video will finally be released on May 20th. It still feels surreal, since this project has taken so long to get finished. But I learned and therefore grew so much from it, so I am grateful for having lived through those ups and downs in the process.
The video is a must-see – sometimes I can’t believe myself that me and a group of students set this up ourselves. The visuals are very surreal, colorful and loud. They somehow build a contrast to what the song actually deals with – with depression. Have you ever felt like being stuck, not being able to move forward and feeling numb, but things around you still seem to fly by quickly and life goes on without you? I call this the Monotone Flow.
8. If Robert Pattinson followed you right now on social media. How would you react? What is your favorite Pattinson film?
Well, I sadly had to find out that Robert doesn’t use social media. Good for him, I guess. But how I would react if he followed me? You’re really asking for a cheesy wattpad story now, aren’t you? There would definitely be a bite included in this story…
9. Where can listeners find your music?
On all major streaming platform. Just search for MERIT. Looking forward to connecting with you! https://linktr.ee/meritory